Colorado high school football championships: 75 fans now allowed per team
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Monday loosened restrictions on fan attendance for the Colorado High School Activities Association's state football title games this weekend.
The seven games to be played at the Neta & Eddie DeRose ThunderBowl on the campus of CSU Pueblo Dec. 3-5 were originally supposed to be played without fans following Pueblo County's move to Safer at Home: Level Red restirctions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 two weeks ago.
CHSAA submitted a petition to the state to allow 75 fans per team, which was granted in a letter to CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green sent Monday night.
"Our qualifying teams, school communities and staff were anxious about receiving a favorable decision," Blanford-Green said in a press release. "We submitted our reconsideration request on Friday and have spent numerous days asking our stakeholders and media partners to be patient. We are a small piece of the puzzle within the many decisions being made by state officials in these challenging times."
The original variance received by the CHSAA, Friends of Football and CSU Pueblo allowed for 1,400 fans for each of the seven games, but Pueblo's record surge in COVID-19 forced state health officials to review the variance that was obtained in early November.
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Last week, CDPHE announced the change to bar fans from the games, causing CHSAA to ask for reconsideration to allow parents to be able to see their players in the state title games this weekend.
As a result, each team will be permitted to have 75 fans at the championship games, under strict guidelines that must be followed.
- Non-household groups must maintain 6 feet of distance;
- The groups of 75 must enter and exit through different egresses;
- They must utilize different facilities, such as restrooms, to "fully keep these two groups as separate events";
- All spectators (along with non-active participants, coaches, officials and staff) must wear masks, without exception.
The weekend begins with the 6-man title game kicking off at 2 p.m. Thursday, followed by the 8-man title game at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Class 2A and 4A will play at 2 p.m and 6 p.m. Friday, respectfully, and 1A, 3A and 5A will play at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m Saturday.
Chieftain sports reporter Austin White can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at twitter.com/ajw_sports. Help support the Chieftain and get the latest news on prep sports with a digital subscription.